Scrub suits, or jut plain “scrubs,” are worn by medical professionals including physicians, nurses, physical therapists and medical office workers. Since scrubs are required attire at clinics and hospitals, those who sell them can make handsome profits--there is always a need for medical professionals in any community, and therefore, a demand for scrubs. Starting a scrub suit business can be done online, instead of in a traditional retail setting.
Decide what type of scrubs you want to sell--discount scrubs, scrubs with licensed characters or sports logos, scrubs for the big and tall, or custom scrubs made with designer fabrics.
Determine whether you will make the scrubs yourself or order them wholesale. If you are a talented seamstress and are capable of making quality, lined scrubs you will save money as opposed to purchasing them wholesale.
However, most scrub suit businesses buy wholesale because they are not capable of making enough scrubs to fill demand. Another option is to buy wholesale scrubs, but also offer customers the option of ordering custom, handmade scrub suits.
Name your scrub suit business and obtain a DBA (assumed name certificate) from your county, EIN (employer identification number) from the IRS and a resale permit or tax identification number from your state, if you are required to collect sales tax on the scrubs you sell in-state.
Find a place to store your inventory. Since scrubs are mostly made of cotton, you will need a storage area that is free from sunlight, odors that can be absorbed, and pets. If you don't have a suitable space in your home, rent a storage unit from a company such as U-Haul or Public Storage.
Pick an e-commerce platform to sell your scrubs on, such as Big Commerce, Core Commerce, or Yahoo! Stores. If you hand make at least some of your scrubs, you can sell them on an artisan marketplace, such as 1000 Markets or Etsy.
Buy a domain name from a registrar such as Go Daddy or Net Solutions. This will cost you approximately $10 per month. Your domain registrar will give you instructions for linking your domain with your e-commerce platform.
Purchase wholesale scrub suits, if you prefer, from a supplier such as Fashion Scrubs, Trend Uniforms, or Scrub n Prints. You will be required to meet a minimum order amount, typically between $250 and $500.
Buy shipping boxes, tags for the scrub suits, and bags, or boxes to package the scrubs in from a supplier such as ULine or Nashville Wraps.
Promote your scrub suit business by placing coupons and fliers in hospital and clinic gift shops (with permission), advertising in local college and university newspapers (make sure they have a pre-medical or graduate medical program first), launching a promotional blog, or offering a discount to customers who purchase more than one scrub suit at a time (for example, buy 3 scrub suits, get 10 percent off).
Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.